Question #d6019

1 Answer
Apr 17, 2014

The high specific heat capacity of water moderates our climate and allows for life on Earth.

Because it takes a great deal of heat to warm up water, water stays cool longer, and acts as an effective coolant. This is why cool "sea breezes" are welcome on a hot summer's day.

On the contrary, once the water is warmed up, it takes a great deal of heat release to cool the water. This keeps warm winds blowing in off large lakes and oceans in the fall and into the winter, making the temperatures not as frigid as they otherwise could be.

This also accounts for the amounts of precipitation that occur around large lakes, such as the Great Lakes, and oceans.